A RECENT Kaspersky research has shown that e-payment adopters in Southeast Asia (SEA) are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of safeguarding their financial data amid the rapid rise of digital payment use in the region.
And they are clear on the additional security features they hope to see implemented by banks and mobile wallet providers here, moving forward.
Titled “Mapping a secure path for the future of digital payments in Asia Pacific Region,” the study discovered that more than three in five (67 percent) users of digital banking and e-wallet apps in Southeast Asia (SEA) prefer the implementation of one-time-passwords (OTPs) through SMS for every transaction.
The majority of the respondents also want to see the implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA) (57 percent) as well as biometric security features like facial or fingerprint recognition (56 percent).
Interestingly, the implementation of OTPs is the top priority for consumers in most SEA countries – including Indonesia (67 percent), Malaysia (66 percent), the Philippines (75 percent), Thailand (63 percent) and Vietnam (74 percent) – except Singapore where two-factor authentication is the most urgent concern (65 percent).
Digital payment customers also welcome the use of machine learning in combating social engineering attacks. Almost half (40 percent) noted that companies should start preventing frauds/scams automatically based on spending behavior and/or transfer history.
“SEA’s sheer market size in terms of digital payment offers a lengthy runway for expansion. In a competitive sector, payment companies should be assessed not just on their innovations, but also on their security posture. We can draw from our findings that customers are increasingly becoming aware of the value of technology to protect their finances online,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, in a statement.
“In general, these security features are useful preventive measures that can potentially enhance the cybersecurity standards in the digital payments space. However, these options should not be viewed in an isolated manner, but considered as part of a holistic cybersecurity framework.”
Security top priority
When it comes to choosing a mobile e-wallet provider, security remains a priority for digital payment users in SEA.
More than half (58 percent) said they will use an e-wallet that includes extra security features like fingerprint and 2FA while more than a third (37 percent) said they will use banking apps or mobile wallets from providers that have not have been engaged in any previous data breach or cybersecurity attack.
A number of respondents also noted that mobile e-wallet has to be independent – can be used directly by a bank or through a third party (42 percent) or a closed one - linked to specific merchants, where users can only use the funds to make payments for transactions initiated with the specific merchant (35 percent).
Another set of considerations in choosing a digital wallet company includes apps that should offer promos, cashback, lower transfer fees (49 percent); provide anonymity – users don’t need to reveal credit card details to too many merchants (35 percent); be bankless – bank account details not needed (25 percent); and be locally made (16 percent).